Manson thought he was bigger than the Beatles, but in reality he was little more than a career criminal and pimpBack in 1986 the American news correspondent Charlie Rose travelled to a California jail to interview a monster. Seated behind a table, Charles Manson raged and rambled, rolled his eyes and waved his arms. On the one hand, he denied any involvement in the murders he had been convicted of masterminding. On the other, he stressed that there was actually no difference between life and death and that everyone is therefore as innocent or guilty as everyone else. At one stage Rose asked the prisoner just who he was, exactly. The man replied without missing a beat. “Charlie Manson,” he said, “is whoever he’s allowed to be.”Even as a child Manson was a genius at pulling strings and deflecting blame, running from trouble or flummoxing his accusers with a saintly smile. He was the bad seed turned jailbird turned spiritual guru; the catalyst for a notorious 1969 killing spree that claimed the life of the Hollywood actor Sharon Tate among numerous others, selected almost at random. But what makes Jeff Guinn’s biography so rich, knotty and gripping is the way …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books